Sunday, September 7, 2008

Maine Police Aren't Mental Health Specialists

In an editorial to the Portland Press Herald two law enforcement officials who work in Maine descriptively and at great length outline the problems that police and jails face in dealing with "criminal patients". Sheriff Dion of Cumberland County and Chief Googins of South Portland, the authors of the article, write the article in hopes of initiating " . . . a public conversation about the efficacy of a community mental health network that relies on public safety as a key care provider".
"The shortcomings in our present community-based treatment system has led to a default environment where public safety personnel are expected to become proficient in the application of therapeutic skills necessary to mitigate acute psychological or psychiatric crises. Uniformed officers have been thrust into practicing the best mental health trauma medicine they know how. They do so under challenging, unpredictable and often dangerous circumstances".
Read the rest of the article: "Police, jails aren't mental health specialists", Portland Press Herald, September 7, 2008.

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